Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Hugless Douglas Finds a Hug by David Melling (with awesome Douglas puppet!) (Hodder Children's Books)


Hugless Douglas finds a Hug

Written and Illustrated by

David Melling

Published by Hodder Children's Books


How can you make a truly awesome book even more brilliant and wonderful (particularly for mummies and daddies who love reading to their children)? Packaging the Hugless Douglas books with your very own Douglas to hug is a stroke of genius and since this book arrived, Charlotte has taken it everywhere with her. But ah, the lure of the book for me is that it brings out the natural born 'performer' - because the fantastic (and I must say brilliant quality) Douglas hand puppet that pokes his cheeky head through the pages of this book is utterly fabulous for enhancing your reading aloud.

In the book, Douglas is looking high and low for a hug. As he sees lots of other animals cosying up together, Douglas feels a little lost and forlorn. But when you're a big cuddly furry and fun-loving bear, hugs are never far away!

We've loved this format for children's books before (most of you will probably have seen the fabulous "Calm Down Boris" books by Sam Lloyd and Stella Gurney). What really surprised me is that I could see the book working beautifully for children younger than Charlotte (she's 5, remember) but she loved it, purely because here was a tangible form of Douglas to interact with when she'd take the book off on her own and act out scenes from it using the puppet.

It raises a whole subject in its own right of the art of 'performing' books, or using props to enhance stories (which we firmly believe in).

Naturally, not everyone's a huge fan of reading aloud to their children and not everyone's predisposed to being a big showoff or doing funny voices - or indeed waggling a puppet around to help a story bounce along, but we really thought this was a fabulous idea and as mentioned above, the quality of the book is superb so it should hold up to even the most ardent 'huggers'!

Charlotte's best bit: Having her very own Douglas to hug, and one that's not 8ft tall and slightly scary!

Daddy's Favourite bit: Props and puppets to enhance story reading for younger kids is a really fantastic idea - but as you can see from this review, it works on the older ones too! FA-BU-LOUS!

(Kindly sent to us for review by Hodder Children's Books)

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